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Oct 31

JCPRD commissions artists for future Art Nine disc golf course in Shawnee Mission Park

Posted on October 31, 2023 at 10:19 AM by Becky Burnside

By Culture Division Sr. Administrative Assistant Jen Newell

Ten public art sculptures will be commissioned for the planned and anticipated Art Nine Disc Golf Course at Shawnee Mission Park, set to open in late spring 2024.

This artwork will be part of a Johnson County Park and Recreation District’s (JCPRD) Public Art Program launched in 2019 to activate parks, trails, and facilities in a new way. 

The goals for the Art Nine Disc Golf Course are to encourage the discovery of disc golf as a fun, healthy, and relatively inexpensive pastime for individuals and families, to use art to highlight and celebrate the natural environment within Shawnee Mission Park including native flora, fauna, animals, birds and unique features of the park, to create whimsical art sculptures that can be enjoyed by disc golfers and park patrons, and to celebrate the role that art and artists play in our community and in our economy.

A call for artists occurred in spring 2023 and upon review by an art selection committee made up of artists, community members, and disc golf advocates, ten design proposals by four local Kansas City metro artists were selected for realization. These artists include Amie Jacobsen (Independence, Mo.), Scott Diven (Kansas City, Mo.), Tim Mispagel (Olathe, Kan.), and Jake Balcom (Kansas City, Mo.).

The ten proposals selected to be fabricated and installed at the Art Nine Disc Golf Course include “Spirit of the Brook,” “Over the Rainbow,” and “Echinacea Umbrella” by Amie Jacobsen; “Sweet Spot,” “Their Journey,” and “Let Her Fly” by Scott Diven; “Paper Wasp Putting Game,” “Forest Guardian,” and “Twilight Refuge” by Tim Mispagel; and “Iron Leaf” by Jake Balcom. “Paper Wasp Putting Game,” by Tim Mispagel, will serve as an inclusive, interactive disc golf experience with placement adjacent to the inclusive playground at this site. This project is funded in part by the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds.  More information about the project and the selected artists and proposals can be found at

Artist Bios

Amie Jacobsen is a designer, sculptor and public artist living and working in the Kansas City area.  A lifelong creator, she has produced work in painting, illustration, and graphic design before transitioning to 3D design and metal-working in 2015. She holds a bachelor’s degree in studio art from Western State Colorado, as well as an master’s of fine art in illustration from the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) where she also taught illustration from 2006-2015. In 2015, Jacobsen took the opportunity to learn metalworking where she was introduced to the world of fabricated sculpture and public art and completely reshaped her career. After two years she was awarded her first large-scale sculpture commission and opened her own studio and workshop. Today, Jacobsen’s studio is located in Independence, Mo. where she has produced sculpture and artisan furniture throughout the US, including nine public art commissions.

Amie Jacobsen

Scott Diven is a contemporary mixed media sculptor from Kansas City, Mo. Art is something that has always been something within him, anxious to be revealed. Since as early as preschool, he has been submersed in creating. He credits his two wonderful, hardworking parents who allowed him to develop a perfect blend of his mother’s work with ceramics and his father’s work with steel. His art would not be where it is today without the positive support and motivation his wife and three children. Inspiration for his art is often from nature and the way it coexists with industrial items often abandoned in landscape. While trying to translate his inspiration, he doesn’t focus on replicating the specific image, however, the personal feeling from the inspiration. That feeling shows through his choices of materials, colors and movement in his pieces. He enjoys creating everything by hand.

Scott Diven

Tim Mispagel is a multimedia artist whose inspiration stems from nature’s breathtaking beauty and symmetry. With a background in illustration, Mispagel sculpts captivating narratives using welded steel, ceramics, glass, bronze, aluminum, wood, and earthwork to name a few. These diverse media allow Mispagel to craft immersive and thought-provoking pieces, bridging imagination and reality. His art invites audiences to embrace the profound connection between humanity and the natural world, fostering environmental consciousness and wonder. Through each medium’s unique voice, Mispagel celebrates the intricate beauty that surrounds us, igniting a shared responsibility to protect and cherish our planet for generations to come.

Tim Mispagel

Jake Balcom is a self-taught artist who has been creating art for over 20 years with an educational background in architecture and biology. He has extensive fabrication skills and is known for complicated, yet clean designs. He has public art installations all over the country as well as over 200 private commissions. His primary focus these days is site-specific metal sculptures, primarily in the public realm. He used old world techniques, new age technology, and a metal’s natural malleability to create these site-specific pieces. He was part of the team the repaired and restored Ken Snelson’s giant sculpture “Triple Crown” and recently attended the Buffalo Creek Art Center residency outside of Lake Tahoe. He currently creates his art in a small studio in the Crossroads Arts District in Kansas City.

Jake Balcom

The Parks and Recreation Foundation of Johnson County plays a crucial role in the fulfillment of JCPRD’s Public Art Program through the procurement of grants and donations. The foundation continues to seek support for future projects through corporate and private funding. Those interested in supporting this program should contact Development Director Kelly Blandford by email [email protected] or by phone at 913-826-3448.

Johnson County Park and Recreation District has been enhancing the lives of the citizens of Johnson County for the past 65+ years through its parks, quality of programs, professionalism, and response to developing trends. The district's contributions to the personal lives of Johnson County's citizens have earned the district local appreciation and national acclaim. Each year, the district records nearly 10 million park visitors and participants across its 10,000 acres of parkland, 136 miles of trails, and more than 4,000 programs.